canstockphoto24550218Ah, the juice cleanse. Many people swear by them, believing they can rid their body of “toxins,” give their organs a rest and kick-start a weight-loss program. But scientists, nutritionists and doctors are generally much more sceptical of the benefits of juice fasting. Some even consider them dangerous.

So before trying one yourself, consider these 5 reasons not to do a juice cleanse.

 

1. A juice cleanse will slow down your metabolism

Most juice fasts seriously restrict your caloric intake. When you do that for an extended period of time, your body thinks you’re in starvation mode – and responds by slowing your metabolism and clinging to every calorie you take in.

Cleanses are generally very low in protein, so you may have a hard time maintaining muscle mass. Since muscle is more metabolically active (burns more calories) than fat, that will cause your metabolism to slow as well.

2. Any weight loss will be temporary

Once your cleanse is over and you begin consuming a normal amount of food, your sluggish metabolism will gratefully store those calories as fat to protect your body from future fasts. This might mean gaining back whatever weight you lost – and possibly more.

3. Your insulin levels will spike

Insulin is the hormone that keeps blood sugar from rising to dangerous levels. Since juice is mostly sugar, without any fibre, protein or fat to slow the rate of absorption, it causes insulin levels to spike. And here’s the worst part: insulin makes you store calories as fat. Repeated insulin spikes cause you to become insulin resistant – the precursor to Type 2 Diabetes.

4. You could experience some nasty side effects

Better not plan any social events while juice cleansing. Moodiness, depression, diarrhea, tooth rot, brain fog and bad breath are just some not-so-nice side effects of severe calorie restriction and a 100% high-glycemic carbohydrate diet.

5. It’s unnecessary: your organs already cleanse and detox for you

Your body’s very sophisticated organs do a fine job of ridding the body of unwanted substances. They get an 8-hour rest every night while you sleep. Fasting to give your liver, kidneys and spleen a break makes about as much sense as giving your lungs a break by holding your breath.

Besides, if you think you’ve got toxins overloading your system, why not avoid those things in the first place? Follow a common sense, varied diet of whole foods – mostly plants – and don’t overconsume alcohol, meats or free sugars.

With all the money you’ll save by not buying expensive cleanse kits, you’ll be able to splurge on those fresh, organic foods more often!